Sunday, October 23, 2022

ERCO 415-C Ercoupe, N99345: Fatal accident occurred December 05, 2022 near Corning Municipal Airport (KCRZ), Adams County, Iowa

Steve Porter 
September 24, 1942 - December 5, 2022

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

Investigator In Charge (IIC): Lemishko, Alexander

Additional Participating Entity: 
Tony Will; Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Des Moines, Iowa

Steven B. Porter

Location: Corning, Iowa
Accident Number: CEN23FA059
Date and Time: December 5, 2022, 12:38 Local 
Registration: N99345
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On December 5, 2022, about 1238 central standard time, an Ercoupe 415-C airplane, N99345, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Corning, Iowa. The pilot sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

An annual inspection was completed at a repair facility at the Rankin Airport (78Y), Maryville, Missouri. The airplane departed 78Y about 1200 and was flown by the pilot/owner back to its home base at the Corning Municipal Airport (CRZ), Corning, Iowa.

There were no eyewitnesses to the accident. A witness located near CRZ reported that she saw the airplane approach runway 36 at a low altitude and high speed. Several nearby residents reported that they heard a loud crash and saw a fire in a cow pasture. The airplane wreckage was found about 900 ft from the departure end of runway 36. Evidence at the accident site showed that the airplane struck a 50-ft tall tree and electrical wires about 600 ft beyond the departure end of runway 36. The main wreckage of the airplane was found about 300 ft beyond the tree and electrical wires. When emergency personnel arrived at the accident site, the wreckage was engulfed in flames.

Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane passed through electrical wires and a tree. The aircraft became inverted before ground impact. Several tree branches showed cuts consistent with rotating propeller blade contact, and a small piece of the right wingtip was found in the tree. One propeller blade leading edge showed marks consistent with contact of the electrical wire. Several ground scars consistent with propeller blade cuts were found along the debris path on a magnetic heading of 360-degrees. Examination of the runway did not show any skid marks associated with the landing gear tires of the airplane. It is unknown if the airplane touched down on runway 36. Examination of the runway and wreckage did not reveal any evidence of a on ground collision with wildlife.

Most of the airplane cockpit and fuselage structure was consumed by a post-impact fire. The outer portion of both wings (outboard of the main landing gears) and most of the empennage were separated, but intact. Flight control continuity from the cockpit to the ailerons, elevator, and rudders was established. (Note: The airplane was designed with automatically coordinated ailerons, nose gear, and rudder system via mechanical linkage from the cockpit. No rudder pedals were installed.) No pre-impact mechanical anomalies were found with the flight control system or airframe structure. The wheels and brake system were examined, and no anomalies were found. The engine was disassembled in detail, and no pre-impact anomalies were found. Both propeller blades had S-bends consistent with rotation at the time of impact.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airmen records, the pilot held a student pilot certificate issued on April 5, 2018. No records were found indicating that the pilot held a private pilot certificate. According to FAA aircraft registration records, the pilot purchased the airplane on June 24, 2018. No pilot logbooks were available, so his career total flight time is unknown. The airplane was the only airplane owned by the pilot. Review of the airplane’s maintenance records showed that the airplane was flown about 35 hours since the pilot purchased the airplane in 2018. The aircraft had been flown 11 hours in the last 3 years, and 4.5 hours in the last year prior to the accident. In an interview with the repair facility technician at 78Y, the technician reported that when the pilot delivered the airplane for its annual inspection, a flight instructor was flying with the pilot.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N99345
Model/Series: ERCOUPE 415-C 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KCSQ,1294 ft msl 
Observation Time: 12:35 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 18 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 6°C /-4°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , 340°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.77 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Maryville, MO (78Y)
Destination: Corning, IA (CRZ)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 40.999302,-94.754886

Steve Porter, 80, of Corning, Iowa, entered eternal rest on Monday, December 5, 2022 in Corning. Private Graveside Services will be held at the Grove Cemetery in rural Lenox, Iowa. A Celebration of Life Gathering will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 17, 2022 at the Corning United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall. Memorial contributions may be directed to the family. Memories and condolences may be left at

Steven Bernard Porter, the son of James Bernard and Elizabeth (Walton) Porter, was born on September 24, 1942 in Altoona, Iowa. Steve graduated from Southeast Polk High School with the Class of 1960. He then attended Iowa State University graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in animal science. On September 16, 1961, Steve married Donna Kay Morlan in Plattsmouth, Nebraska. Three children: Laura, Wendy and Matt would bless this union. Steve and Donna lived in Nevada, Iowa for ten years prior to moving to their current farm south of Corning in 1974.

Steve was a hard worker and was one never to set idle. During the day he would tend to his farm raising cattle, pigs, crops and later sheep. After his farm work was finished, he would go to work as mechanic working late into the night. In his own words he was a “Jack of all trades and a master of none”!

He liked stockcar and motorcycle racing, tractor pulls, and flying. He enjoyed many trips on his motorcycle with friends and family. He also enjoyed riding horses. He was an avid musician playing the guitar and banjo. Steve was a good neighbor and enjoyed taking time to support the neighborhood kids.

Steve was a member of the Windriders 1533, Blacksmith and Welder’s Association and the Nut’s on Wheels Motorcycle Club. He was a lifetime member of the American Motorcycle Association and the National Rifle Association. He held various offices in all the associations he was a part of.

Left to cherish Steve’s memory are his children: Laura Fritz of Corning, Iowa, Wendy Marshall and husband, John of Nodaway, Iowa and Matt Porter and wife, Sarah of Exira, Iowa; eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren; sister, Ruth Hurst and husband, Gail of Michigan; many nieces, nephews and friends.

Steve was preceded in death by his wife, Donna; parents, James and Elizabeth; infant grandson, Aiden; aunt, Bernice Walton and mother and father-in-law, Edith and Donald Morlan.

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances 100 feet off departure end Runway 36.

Date: 05-DEC-22
Time: 18:34:00Z
Regis#: N99345
Aircraft Model: ERCOUPE 415-C
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 1
Flight Crew: 1
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91
State: IOWA

CORNING, Iowa — Officials are investigating a plane crash that led to the death of one man Monday near Corning, says the Iowa State Patrol.

A plane took off from an airport in Adams County at approximately 12:38 p.m. with one man — the pilot, 80-year-old Steven Porter — on board.

According to Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Alex Dinkla, the aircraft hit a power line during takeoff. Porter was pronounced dead at the scene.

Loved ones say he was a harder worker and was always on the go.

The celebration of life service for Porter will take place December 17 at Corning United Methodist Church from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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